19 Oct Proof Of Concept
Proof of concept is a very useful idea when you’re a photographer – particularly when you want to come down to the shop and spend money – but can’t think of what to spend it on. You are floating in a limbo and you need a lifeline.
Every new photo idea needs to be thought out well, but after you’ve done all you can with coffee and scribbled diagrams you need to start making it real. I’m sorry to say that you generally can’t design it 100% on a screen or a yellow pad – you need to block it out with pinewood strips, cornflakes packets, and expensive camera equipment. We don’t sell wood or cornflakes but we may be able to help with the camera gear.
You have a studio idea. It need a backdrop – we sell ’em. It needs a stand to hold the backdrop – we sell those, too. Lights? Yes. Camera? Yes. You provide the action. And you’ll only know if it works when you give it a go.
Be prepared to fail. With a bit of luck you will fail early and fail often. This is valuable as it tells you what doesn’t work and you can cross that off your list. ( Underwater photographers who plan to fail should tie a rope around their waists and have someone in the boat ready to haul…) The most important thing about failing is you don’t have to do it the same way twice – indeed if you do you are culpable. Just keep doing it differently and marking them off the list – and you can stop when you finally succeed.
How do you know when you have succeeded? Darn good philosophical question in a lot of fields. A fighter plane pilot knows he has succeeded when he clambers out of the plane after coming home not dead. A surgeon knows success when the patient wakes up and demands a cup of tea and a bun. You’ll know you have succeeded as a photographer when:
a. The image looks like the subject.
Don’t laugh – illustration is one of the toughest genres. ” I’ll show you ” is a long way from ” I’ll show you properly ” .
b. The image doesn’t look like the subject.
Portraitists, fantasy artists, and real estate photographers can exchange a secret handshake on this one.
c. The image sells.
In a shop, on a postcard, over the net, in an album, or as blackmail material. When you get the money, success has just occurred. If it sells in a book you are to be congratulated and if it sells repeatedly over years you are to be envied.
d. The client finally accepts it.
It may be perfect, it may be what they wanted, it may be what they needed – or deserved. It may just be that the session has been so weary that they will accept anything to escape. But if they sign it off, that is success.
Did Camera Electronic contribute to that success? We may well have – our staff are full of ideas…some of them good and many of them legal. They may not make your idea pop at first – remember the fail cycle – but they may be able to talk you past a few of those potential crashes before you get on the bike. If you know what you are doing, go ahead.